Maarifa Kona to incubate and invest in 8 innovations from Garissa and Marsabit

By Sheilah Birgen
iHub
  Published 30 Jan 2019
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Sabdiyo Lologol, one of the innovators during the national demo day

Adeso, iHub and MasterCard (AIM) consortium created two community spaces in the rural counties of Marsabit and Garissa (known as the Maarifa Kona Innovation Labs). Maarifa kona is funded through UKAid and managed collaboratively by the Communicating with Disaster Affected Communities (CDAC) and Start Network. The communities have explored and developed innovative mechanisms to build resilience and preparedness in the face of drought. On the 5th of March 2018 and received a total of 236 ideas in both Garissa and Marsabit counties. We then selected 40 (20 from each Lab) to go through another rigorous process. They are then narrowed down to 22(11 from each lab) to join the program. The 22 join the lab for several trainings, mentorship, coaching and support. The programme involves four phases: Idea Generation and Selection, Research and Concepts (3 months); Development (4 months) and Incubation (6 months).

After the Idea Generation and Selection, Research and Concepts (3 months); Development, we held the county demo day for the innovators to pitch to a number of stakeholders. 8 innovations from each lab we selected to proceed to the national demo day were they would showcase their prototypes and pitch their business model to industry experts.

Judges listening to pitches during the national demo day
Abdi Dohs Arare and Samuel Kingori from Garissa pitching during the national demo day

Last week we hosted 14 teams from Marsabit & Garissa for the National Demo Day at iHub in Nairobi. We will end up with 8 teams for the incubation and investment phase. The 8 were:

  • Wezesha Initiative By: Boru Godana and Abdifatah Galgallo. They have a financial inclusion service to enable women and social groups to designed to acquire water tanks
  • Mt. Marsabit Women Dairy Group By: Sabdiyo Lologol and Agnes Karanja. They support the most vulnerable members of the community especially women, to earn a living through a structured micro milk collection system and subsequent value addition of milk.
  • Climate Information Pastoral Unit- Awareness creation By: Roba Dibo, Roba Godana and Roba Gufu. They have climate information and Advisory system and tools.
  • When The Sun Shines By: Philip Wario and Jillo Dida. They want to provide affordable space in their pasture warehouses for the community. They can provide long term storage or seasonal offerings, depending on demand.
  • Livestock Soko By: Robert Dogo and David Gureya They have an e-commerce platform to bridge the gap between pastoral nomads and the terminal livestock market this will, assist in destocking and restocking before and after drought.
  • Drought Cure) By: Guyo Haro and Adan Jil They produce highly nutritious animal feeds in powder and briquettes (blocks) form. The feeds can be stored over a long period of time, the feeds can be used daily or to weak animals during drought.
  • Bridging The Gap By: Somo Guyo and Waqo Sora They want to provide Modern Warehouse for Fodder Storage. The facility will address unprecedented livestock deaths caused by prolonged drought and calls by the community for proper storage.
  • Maisha Dada -Women Empowerment Center- Pathway to Drought Resilience By: Fatuma Abdi and Miski Mohamed. They have a centre where women are equipped with income generating skills and financial literacy trainings.
  • Smart GreenHouse By: Osman Ahmed, Obed Mogaka and John Mali. They want to improve management of greenhouses, domiciled in govt schools in Sankuri, by incorporating smart technology (mobile phone activated) to help in the control greenhouse.
  • Solar Food By: Mogai Diriye and Ibrahim Ahmed Adan. They are using agricultural farm situated along River Tana to sensitise and mobilize the community to participate in commercialised farming using solar pumps.
  • Mathenge Maisha By: Abdi Dohs Arare and Samuel Kingori   This innovation group has found a unique way of using “prosopis juliflora” locally known as Mathenge and viewed as a weed by community, to produce flour for human consumption.
  • Garissa Animal Feeds By: Nuh Kusow and Thomas Kiarie(Not in the picture) This innovation aims to avail ready pasture to the local markets through the establishment of Garissa Animal Feeds.
  • Smart Water Kiosks By: Hussein Abdi and Salah Farah. They are proposing the use of smart water kiosks to supply and manage water collection/distribution with minimal wastage
  • Frontier Camel Milk Enterprise By: Ibrahim Roble and Evans Oguta. Their innovation seeks to improve the quality and safety of camel milk through development of improved post- handling trainings and value added camel product.

We had expert judges who were from Innovation, Finance and Humanitarian sectors. 8 Innovations were selected, they will proceed to incubation Phase; Feb - June 2019. In the incubation phase, they will refine their business and financial modes, get their legal structures in place, go through investment readiness, theory of change, ethics, leadership, sales and marketing refinement among other things. The 8 selected innovators are:

    • Garissa
      • Frontier Camel Milk Enterprise
      • Mathenge Maisha
      • Smart GreenHouse
      • Maisha Dada -Women Empowerment Center
    • Marsabit
      • Mt. Marsabit Women Dairy Group
      • Climate Information Pastoral Unit-
      • When The Sun Shines
      • Drought Cure

The other 6  finalists will have additional 6 months’ access to the lab, attend trainings; to fine-tune their products & linkage to other partners to further their innovations. At the incubation phase, eight innovators (4 from each lab) will be selected and provided larger funding and scale up their innovation for a period of four months. The programme will come to an end in the month of June 2019.

For more information on the program, please write to us through sheilah (at) ihub (dot) co (dot) ke or follow us on social media:

Facebook: fb.com/maarifa.k.Kenya Twitter: @maarifa_kona_

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